OUT TO SEE THE NEIGHBORHOOD - OCTOBER 1-2, 2005
Nana Jane was in town, and we took advantage of the visit to venture further out than we have thus far. Until last weekend we had basically only been to Mexicantown in Detroit, the Detroit-Wayne County Airport, and the Costco in Brighton, MI. So it was time to see what else might be out in the further reaches of our new region. Our travels took us from Lake Michigan to Lake Ontario. On Saturday we headed west to visit Battle Creek. Those of you who, like I, were avid cereal box readers, will recognize the name. It is a center of cold cereal manufacturing and hosts Kelloggs' Cereal City USA. The visit there was a promise to Soren, who is still disappointed that we did not move to Philadelphia, the birthplace of Cereality. At KCC-USA we learned about things like the late-19th century health food movement, Seventh-Day Adventists, and their connection to the emergence of Corn Flakes. We also saw talking mechanical Tony the Tiger and a mock Corn Flakes production line, and we got to make Froot Loops necklaces. But, Soren's main interest was getting to eat some sugary cereal. Sadly for him, he had to wait a while, but his patience paid off.
Sated with Jacks, Loops, and Flakes, we veered to the northeast to visit the town of Holland. Now the town does have the name for a reason. Or at least that was our understanding. But the Dutch Village there was pretty disappointing looking. So we decided against checking out the wooden shoe store and other Netherlandy stuff and instead went straight for the very American go kart/miniature golf/video arcade that we saw from the freeway. This was indeed a day designed for Soren. His enthusiasm is muted in the picture below by his intense concentration on the road. Further below, it's clear that you need a really wide angle lens to successfully capture Andrew at maximum go-kart speed.
After meandering through Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo (we can report that Kalamazoo is less exotic than the name would suggest), we finally arrived home. The next morning we headed east for some international travel. It took a while given some pesky construction, but we eventually made it to the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit to Windsor, Canada. The Canadians seem nothing if not practical with bright green signs in front of every house proclaiming the abode's address. Not necessarily the aesthetic choice that everyone might have made, but I'm sure that it helps you at 8pm in December when you're trying find the house of the person who has invited you to a Christmas party. In our drive through Canada we also saw seemingly endless numbers of enormous greenhouses. We wondered what was grown in them. While some seem to be home to flowers, the gigantic Heinz factory we eventually ran across suggested that tomatoes must be the main crop. While we went to Canada mostly just for the sake of going, we did have a particular destination in mind. That destination was Point Pelee National Park. Pelee lies on the southern shore of the province of Ontario and juts out into Lake Erie. It is known as a popular stop-over for migrating birds and monarch butterflies. And the Park also happens to contain the southernmost point in Canada. In fact, the peninsula that the park is basically an elongated triangle that comes to a sharp point at the end (check out the aerial photo in the Pelee NP link). That point is as far south as you can go in Canada. And we went there, as documented below (note: check the waves coming from opposite directions which converge at the point).
Jane, Zoe, and Soren - overcome with emotion.
Soren and Drew - Self-satisfied with the achievement of arriving as far as one's legs can carry you.
Drew - Searching for new frontiers.
We arrived late in the afternoon, and our walk back up the beach coincided with sunset.